Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Review: Dead Man's Hand by Eddie Jones

Back Cover:
It’s All Just a Show…Right?

“This is an authentic old west ghost town, son. Around these parts the dead don’t stay dead.”
Nick Caden’s vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town takes a deadly turn toward trouble when the fifteen-year-old finds himself trapped in a livery stable with the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The shooter whirls, aims and… vanishes. Great theatrics, Nick thinks, except now he’s alone in the hayloft with the bullet-riddled body of Billy the Kid. And by the time the sheriff arrives, the body disappears.

Soon Nick is caught in a deadly chase---from an abandoned gold mine, through forbidden buffalo hunting grounds, and across Rattlesnake Gulch. Around every turn he finds another suspect. Will Nick solve the murder? Will his parents have him committed? Or will the town's infatuation with Hollywood theatrics conceal the real truth about souls, spirits and the destiny that awaits those who die.

My Review:
A YA mystery that will keep you reading until the last page!

The first in Eddie Jones' new series, The Caden Chronicles, we meet Nick Caden, a cyber super-sleuth. His parents have dragged Nick and his little sister, Wendy, to Deadwood for a wild-west adventurous vacation. To say the least, Nick would rather be in Vegas for a video game convention.

Man, this book is definitely a wild-west mystery! Complete with realistic gun fights, history lesson tours, and...oh yeah, a murder. I've said this before in previous reviews and I'll say it again: I love a book that can keep me guessing. And this book did.

There were a few times throughout the book that I struggled to keep up or something wasn't exactly clear. There were also times I felt like giving Nick a sharp kick for his reckless thinking, but he was still a well developed character. As for Nick's family, Jones made the extra-dysfunctional family pop off the page. The ending left me quite curious about what Jones has planned next.

If you like murder mysteries you'll enjoy this one!

I received this book from DJC Communications in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done.


  1. Great review, Rosie! Mysteries are always fun reading because they do tend to keep up on our toes and that is what we love best about them. :-D

    1. Thanks! Oh, I know. Mysteries are just awesome. :)

  2. Rosie, thanks for putting a plug in for Dead Man's Hand and my Buy a Boy a Book campaign. I know you know some of this but thought I'd share a few thoughts with your fans on why I write for boys (of all ages):

    • One child in four grows up not knowing how to read.
    • 3 out of 4 food stamp recipients perform in the lowest 2 literacy levels.
    • 90% of welfare recipients are high school dropouts.
    • 14% of Americans are considered functionally illiterate, meaning they cannot read well enough to function productively in a school or work environment.
    • 29% of Americans are low-level, functionally literate. They read only enough to do their job and get through the day.
    • 44% of Americans are highly functionally literate but prefer to receive information orally.
    • Over 60% of adults in the US prison system read at or below the fourth grade level
    • 85% of US juvenile inmates are functionally illiterate

    All this is to say, the world has gotten more verbal and boys haven’t.

    Boys act out, cut up and engage with their world through action and aggression. And yet books are built around dialogue, creating scenes and examining the connection between characters: all skills that require creative thinking and mental imaging. Given the increasing sophistication of gaming and role-playing we need to provide boys with books that engage their imagination and spur creative thinking. If we can get one boy to read one book, help one young man learn to think creatively we are well on our way to solving many of our nation's problems.

    Readers are Leaders: Buy a Boy a Book. Thanks, Rosie.


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